At the end of the hall, Kit hits the button to the elevator and then stares at the glowing white light while nibbling the inside of her bottom lip between her teeth. “I don’t know. Maybe one or two . . . someday. Not anytime soon.” She pauses for a long time before lifting her eyes to mine, and I’m sure my palm starts to sweat at the way those eyes make my heart trip in my chest, but Kit holds on tight. “What about you?”
“Maybe one or two,” I say, my answer coming more easily than I thought it would. “Someday.” I echo Kit, thinking of what her mom said—of little kids with Kit’s dark hair. And maybe with my green eyes. And I can tell Kit knows what I’m thinking, because the pink in her cheeks deepens and her free hand begins fidgeting with her pocket. “Not anytime soon though,” I add before our palms get too slick to hold. “I have my hands full with Adam.”
She laughs and steps onto the elevator when it opens, dragging me with her. “Want to know something super embarrassing?”
She drops my hand to back up against the wall and brace both of hers on the metal railing lining the elevator. Her knee bends, poking through the gaping hole in her jeans as she plants a combat boot against the wall.
“About you?” I say with a grin as I lean against the wall opposite her. “Do you even need to ask?”
Kit drums her fingers against the railing—and drums and drums—until she blurts, “I may or may not have written ‘Kit Scarlett’ down in a notebook a few dozen times in junior high.”
She immediately covers her face with both hands, and my laughter fills the metal box. “You’re kidding.”
The elevator dings, and she doesn’t wait for me before taking quick steps into the hallway. But I catch her before she can get too far, pulling her back against my chest and pinning my chin in the crook of her neck. “That’s adorable,” I say, smiling against her skin.
Held tight in my arms, she huffs out a breath and says, “I can’t believe I told you that.”
“I think Kit Scarlett has a nice ring to it.”
When she turns her face to the side to stare at me, her skin is that kissable pink that’s quickly becoming one of my favorite colors. “You do?” Her voice is a quiet, timid thing, in complete contrast to the rest of her.
I smile as I press a big kiss against her neck. “I do,” I say, when what I’m really thinking is, someday.
I let go and lead her the rest of the way to my apartment, unlocking the door while she’s still too busy blushing to see that the tips of my ears are as red as her cheeks. And then I head toward my room and stop her before she can follow me in. “Wait out here, okay?”
“Because you want to.”
She narrows her eyes at me as I spin her around and nudge her toward the couch, and then I slip into my room and wipe my clammy palms on my jeans. Adam and Peach are gone for the night, just like they swore they’d be, and I have something special planned—something I’ve been planning for a while.
The night I took Kit’s virginity, I was a half-drunk high school senior who had no idea what he was doing. I gave her a night she couldn’t forget instead of a night she’d want to remember. And ever since I found that out, it’s bugged the hell out of me. That night should’ve involved candles and rose petals and . . . I don’t know, at least me giving her her first fucking orgasm. But that guy wasn’t me, not back then, and now all I can do is try my hardest to make up for it.
It takes me two tries to light the lighter in my hand, and then I touch it to scented candle after scented candle, setting them on my shelves, my dresser, my nightstand. I pull a bag of red rose petals from a cooler and feel like an idiot as I sprinkle them throughout the room and over my dark green comforter. I grab a sheer red cloth from a plastic shopping bag and drape it over my table lamp. And then I look around the room and take a deep breath.
This is so fucking corny. This is the corniest, nerdiest, lamest shit I’ve ever done.
Kit had better love it.
When I open the door and call her over, she does exactly what I thought she’d do: she takes it all in and giggles, and that sound makes all my embarrassment worth it.
“Seriously?” she says while I smile like the love-struck teenager I should’ve been for her six years ago.
“This is what I should’ve done for your first time.”
Kit’s rosy grin gives her away—she loves it, just like I knew she would. “You’re so corny.”
“It’s your fault.”
I hit a button on the remote to my stereo, and Brand New pours through the speakers. She bursts out laughing.
“This isn’t exactly Marvin Gaye, Shawn.”
“I know, but it’s your favorite.”
Her arms wrap around my neck and her fingers curl in the back of my hair. “It is.” She lifts onto her tiptoes and kisses me softly. “You’re my favorite.”
“And you’re calling me corny?” I chide with my heart racing against hers, and she laughs and slaps my shoulder a second before I toss her onto my rose-petaled bed.
She giggles until I crawl on top of her, and then she stops laughing, I stop smiling, and I kiss her—I kiss her like I wouldn’t have been able to six years ago even if I wanted to. Because back then, I didn’t realize she was my other half. Back then, I didn’t realize I had another half.